Friday, March 24, 2006

Breaking the law

Bush shuns Patriot Act requirement:
The bill contained several oversight provisions intended to make sure the FBI did not abuse the special terrorism-related powers to search homes and secretly seize papers. The provisions require Justice Department officials to keep closer track of how often the FBI uses the new powers and in what type of situations. Under the law, the administration would have to provide the information to Congress by certain dates. …

In the [President's signing] statement, Bush said that he did not consider himself bound to tell Congress how the Patriot Act powers were being used and that, despite the law's requirements, he could withhold the information if he decided that disclosure would ''impair foreign relations, national security, the deliberative process of the executive, or the performance of the executive's constitutional duties."
This is not how the law works. It isn't how the Constitution works, it isn't how Congress works. The only reason this bill was reauthorized was that it had these provisions in it. Allowing Congress to exercise oversight does not interfere with anything. If it does, you're doing something wrong.

It's time Congress put the White House in its place.